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Q&A: Riley Hospital doctor explains new vaccine approval for young kids

Posted at 2:40 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-19 15:11:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Soon, kids under 5 will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 on Saturday.

The vaccine dosage for young children is significantly lower than the adult version. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine offers a dose one-tenth the level adults receive. Moderna’s vaccine is one-fourth the dosage for children under 5.

On Thursday, Riley Children’s Health Director of Primary Care and pediatrician Dr. Sarah Bosslet answered questions parents may have, including any considerations parents should take before vaccinating their kids.

"The only thing parents should pause and wait on is if their child is actively sick ... if they're clearly ill, please wait until they're better to get the COVID vaccine," Dr. Bosslet said.

At this time, Bosslet says kids should go through the vaccine series dose with one brand as opposed to mixing and matching. She also says it is very important to finish the two or three dose series. If there are any concerns or questions about anything associated with the vaccine., talk to your doctor.

What if my child has already had COVID-19?

"The great news is if you've had COVID infection and you get the vaccine, your protection looks really good ... we still recommend COVID vaccine to help protect them ... in case of other variants and as things change," Bosslet said.

If your child currently has COVID-19, wait until their symptoms are gone before getting the vaccine.

Will there be boosters needed?

Bosslet says she expects that there will be boosters needed, but there is not timing information available yet.

When will Riley be ready to administer the shots?

Pharmacies do not give vaccines to kids under 3-years-old, so Bosslet says most of these young kids will get the shot at their doctor's office or through local health departments. Riley will also be giving the vaccine to the community and expect to have more information next week. The Indiana Department of Health will also have information.

MORE: CDC COVID-19 vaccine booster information

You can watch the full Q&A with Dr. Bosslet below.

Riley doctor on Pfizer, Moderna vaccine for young kids

Scripps National Digital Content Producers Justin Boggs and Sarah Dewberry contributed to this report.